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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

It's a virtual knockout as Scotland take on Oman in last league game

Alasdair Evans celebrates the wicket of Assad Vala ICC via Getty

Big picture

Imagine this: You beat a Full Member and fellow Associate in a four-team pool, and feel you have done enough. But then you are told you have to win the third game too. It's a reality Scotland are staring at. It could be frustrating for some, but Scotland are ready to embrace the pressures of a potential knockout.

They were looking good to carve out a big lead in terms of net run-rate when Papua New Guinea slumped to 35 for 5 in their chase of 166 on Tuesday. But in playing a blinder that gave Scotland the jitters, Norman Vanua also reduced PNG's margin of defeat to 17 runs, leaving Scotland, Oman and Bangladesh all bunched together.

Now, the only way Scotland can progress with two wins is if PNG upset Bangladesh, though that seems a task too steep, on the face of it. Oman, meanwhile, simply have to win by any margin to make it through.

Oman will ride on massive home support. Scotland will ride on form and familiarity of conditions, having trained and played in the country for close to six weeks now. There's also the added incentive for the winners: a direct entry into next year's T20 World Cup in Australia. Unfortunately for this tournament, only one of them might be left standing at the end of this. The good thing for the two teams, however, is that the Bangladesh vs PNG game will be over by the time they start.

Form guide

Scotland: WWLWL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Oman: LWWLW

In the spotlight

Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer hasn't topped 17 in his last five innings, including the warm-ups. Against Bangladesh, he was out for a seven-ball duck, beaten on the outside edge. On Wednesday, PNG left-arm seamer Kabua Morea deceived him with an inswinger that beat his inside edge to crash into the stumps when he was on 6. But Scotland coach Shane Burger believes Coetzer is batting "unbelievably well" in the nets and it's just a matter of time before the tide turns.

With scores of 73* and 40, Jatinder Singh has clearly towered over the rest of Oman's batting. Five years ago, Jatinder was part of Oman cricket history when they recorded their first-ever World Cup win, against Ireland. On Thursday, he can add another chapter to that history if he can help Oman get over the line and qualify for the Super 12s.

Team news

Safyaan Sharif, the fast bowler, missed the game against PNG because of a groin strain. Burger said the team will wait on him, even though he's in better shape now. However, with Alasdair Evans impressing with figures of 1 for 22 off four overs in his first outing of the tournament on Tuesday, it's likely Scotland will remain unchanged.

Scotland (probable): 1 Kyle Coetzer (capt), 2 George Munsey, 3 Matthew Cross (wk), 4 Richie Berrington, 5 Calum MacLeod, 6 Mathew Leask, 7 Chris Greaves, 8 Mark Watt, 9 Josh Davey, 10 Alasdair Evans, 11 Brad Wheal

Aqib Ilyas, the Oman batter, said they could strengthen their bowling, bringing in either a fast bowler or a legspinner depending on the surface. That could mean one of the lower-order batters, Sandeep Goud probably, makes way. Fayyaz Butt could come in.

Oman (probable): 1 Aqib Ilyas, 2 Jatinder Singh, 3 Khawar Ali, 4 Zeeshan Maqsood (capt), 5 Kashyap Prajapati, 6 Naseem Khushi (wk), 7 Mohammad Nadeem, 8 Ayaan Khan, 9 Fayyaz Butt, 10 Kaleemullah, 11 Bilal Khan

Stats and trivia

  • George Munsey's 55 sixes are the most by a Scotland player in T20Is. He also holds the record for the highest individual score for his country (127*) in the format.

  • Coetzer and Calum MacLeod are the only two players from Scotland's maiden T20 World Cup outing in 2007 to still be playing.

  • Aqib Ilyas nearly qualified to play for the UAE after having moved there to study in 2010. The 29-year-old, who has a a civil engineering degree, excelled in club cricket and was even invited to train with the UAE national team. He chose Oman, his home country.

Quotes

"If there's any team that understands this is a must-win game, it's probably Scotland, who often go into competitions knowing every game is must-win game. We spoke of topping the group, that was a certainly a goal, something we wanted to achieve before we arrived here. We spoke about it, planned for it, it won't surprise me if we do that." Scotland coach Shane Burger

"Fielding is key, a player [Mohammad Naim] who was dropped in the 20s went on to make 70, that made a big difference against Bangladesh. We can't afford to drop catches. Also as batters, we shouldn't be leaving it to the other players. The small things matter." Oman opener Aqib Ilyas

Scotland 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st33KJ CoetzerHG Munsey
2nd42KJ CoetzerMH Cross
3rd48RD BerringtonMH Cross

ICC Men's T20 World Cup

First Round Group A
TeamMWLPTNRR
SL33063.754
NAM3214-0.523
IRE3122-0.853
NED3030-2.46
First Round Group B
TeamMWLPTNRR
SCOT33060.775
BAN32141.733
OMA3122-0.025
PNG3030-2.655
Group 1
TeamMWLPTNRR
ENG54182.464
AUS54181.216
SA54180.739
SL5234-0.269
WI5142-1.641
BAN5050-2.383
Group 2
TeamMWLPTNRR
PAK550101.583
NZ54181.162
INDIA53261.747
AFG52341.053
NAM5142-1.89
SCOT5050-3.543